Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Antler (born 1946, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, USA) is an American poet who lives in Wisconsin. His work reflects the influences of Walt Whitman, Allen Ginsberg, and the American traditions of transcendentalism and environmentalism. He celebrates the wilderness, often comparing urban, industrial life unfavorably with natural phenomena. His frank, sometimes earthy poems frequently exhibit sexual and spiritual energy entwined with the wonder of the natural world.
Antler received a bachelor's degree in anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1970. Later he completed a master's degree in English from the same university after spending some time at the noted writers workshop at the University of Iowa. During the 1970s he also worked at various factory and other jobs just long enough to get money to support his poetry writing and time spent in wilderness areas across the United States.
Antler's first major work, the long poem Factory, was published by Lawrence Ferlinghetti's City Lights Books in 1980. Allen Ginsberg declared Factory to be "the most enlightening and magnanimous American poem I've seen by anyone of the '60s and 70s decades." The collection Last Words appeared in 1986 from Ballantine Books, and Antler: The Selected Poems was published in 2000 by Soft Skull Press. He has also published several chapbooks and has contributed to numerous local, national, and international journals and anthologies.
Among other honors, he received the Whitman Prize from the Walt Whitman Association, given to the poet "whose contribution best reveals the continuing presence of Walt Whitman in American poetry," in 1985. Antler also was awarded the Witter Bynner prize in 1987. Antler has been the poet laureate of the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he resides. He leads poetry workshops and gives readings across the United States and in other countries. He is also an advocate for wilderness protection and other causes, and continues to spend much time camping and exploring the wilderness areas he loves.
Antler. Antler: The Selected Poems. New York: Soft Skull Press, 2000.
Nelson, Howard. "The Work of Antler." The Hollins Critic, June 1998. Reprinted in Twayne Companion to Contemporary Literature in English, edited by R.H.W. Dillard and Amanda Cockrell, pp. 21-34. New York: Twayne Publishers, 2003.
Sharma-Jensen, Geeta. "Poet Antler answers, celebrates the call of the wild." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, March 21, 2001.
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